Femtocells Face Uncertain Future in US

The U.S. femtocell market is a "crapshoot," according to the latest Unstrung Insider report, because operators have yet to figure out how the tiny home base stations will work in their networks and how they can make money from them.

Major femtocell deployments are unlikely until 2009 or even 2010 in North America as operators conduct limited trials this year, according to the report, Femtocells: U.S. Market Prospects. (See Femtocells: The Wireline Killer? and Femtocells Brace for Big 2008.)

The issues that operators and vendors have to deal with this year are technical and strategic. While operators and vendors toil with challenges like interference with the macro cellular network and integration with OSS/BSS systems, operators also strive to build a business case for the home base stations. (See Femto Firms Counter Interference Flak.)

But the main barrier to early deployments this year is cost. General consensus among vendors and operators is that femtocells need to retail for less than $100 to be a viable mass market product. (See Femto Chips Too Costly and Vodafone CEO Seeks Cheap Femtos.)

Read the whole story at Unstrung.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor,

The report, Femtocells: U.S. Market Prospects, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Unstrung Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. For more information, or to subscribe, please visit:Unstrung Insider.

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